I’m a former artificial sweetener addict. Splenda was my drug of choice, but I also dabbled in Sweet ‘n Low and Equal if it was the only thing available. I would buy “sugar free” everything, and to be honest- it usually tasted like chemical crap. But I tricked myself into thinking that it tasted good. And the more I ate, the more I craved sugar! I started by adding 1 packet of Splenda to my coffee, and then it was two, three, four… I was actually becoming desensitized to the sweet flavor. And, on the occasion that I did have real sugar, watch out- I wanted things extra sweet. I know it sounds silly, but my addiction to artificial sweeteners was so strong- I literally craved sweet all day long. My hormones got all out of whack, my skin was constantly breaking out and I had a lot of trouble sleeping.
Back in 2009, I read Jillian Michaels Master Your Metabolism on the plane during my first trip ever to Colorado (in 2009). She talked a lot about artificial/chemical-laden foods, and that was enough to put the nail in the coffin. I quit cold turkey. That meant no more yellow, pink or blue packets, no more Diet Coke and no more sugar free this and that. And really, it was easy. My cravings subsided right away, and when I did eat “real” sugar, I was satisfied with a much smaller amount.
I started to look into natural sugars and sugar substitutes and using raw sugar, honey, and agave nectar. And then I started reading about stevia. To be honest, I really didn’t like it when I first tried it. It was a combination of bitter + too sweet, and just left a horrible aftertaste. The only kind I could stomach was a French Vanilla flavored powder from Whole Foods, and that was often hard to find. And then one day I tried NuNaturals stevia.
I was blown away! It tasted great- without that bitter taste that every other variety seemed to have! I started using it as a sugar substitute, and only needed a small amount due to it’s sweetness factor. Keep in mind- I still use sweeteners that do have calories- maple sugar is my sugar of choice. But, since sugar calories add up quickly (and are stored as fat in the body), I’m thankful that I found a variety of stevia that I really love. I haven’t just swapped out my artificial sweetener addiction for stevia- I can use small amounts of stevia and be satisfied, rather than several packets! Moderation is much nicer.
I train a lot of clients that buy into the “sugar-free” hype, and use the same pink, blue and yellow packets that I used to. I’ve given several of them packets of NuNaturals to try (because I like it so much!) and every single one of them has come back to tell me how much they like it (and that it was much better than any other stevia they had tried!)
NuNaturals was kind enough to send me some of their products to test drive last summer, including the orange and lemon flavored liquid stevia.
I used those to make some delicious recipes such as:
Several months later, I am still just as big of a fan of the orange and lemon stevia as I was when I first tasted it!
NuNaturals was nice enough to send me a few of their latest products recently, including a chocolate and a peppermint flavored liquid stevia.
I was so excited to try both! On cold nights, I’ll put a few drops of peppermint stevia in my tea or hot cocoa. And the chocolate is great in Greek yogurt or for sweetening protein muffins! But really, when you just put a few drops of each into a glass of unsweetened almond milk… that is pure delight right there.
They also have some new products that are worth checking out, including another calorie free natural sweetener called Erythritol.
I’ve tried another brand of Erythritol before, and thought it had absolutely no taste. I used some of the NuNaturals brand in my protein muffin yesterday, and it was way better! Not overly sweet- but sweet enough.
Here’s the deal:
NuNaturals has offered to give FOUR lucky readers a few flavors to try out:
Four of you will receive a package containing the orange, lemon, chocolate and peppermint liquid stevia! You’ll be able to experiment and develop your own SWEET recipes (and hopefully you’ll share them with me!).
Leave a comment below telling me your favorite dessert. Feel free to be descriptive and make us all drool (and it doesn’t need to be a “healthy” dessert!).
For an additional entry, Tweet about the givaway by cutting and pasting the following text: Here’s a SWEET giveaway via @OatmealLauren: http://wp.me/p2oUXk-2n3
(Leave a comment letting me know that you tweeted!)
… and while you’re out at, how about you follow me on Twitter as well?
I’ll be choosing a winner on Thursday, Feb. 14th (Valentine’s Day). Contest open to U.S. Residents only.
NuNaturals provided me samples of products to try. Opinions, recipes and photographs are my own.